The CRM acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management and refers to all interactions between a business and its customers. CRM applies to Marketing, Customer Service, and Sales but it applies to each group in a different way.

A CRM system is self-hosted or on-demand software that provides a number of important benefits to companies of all sizes and industries. CRM systems allow businesses to track, automate, and report on customer relationships.

CRM vendors offer their own competitive features but this is a list of popular features to consider when searching for a cloud CRM provider.

Platform Support

Platform features describe the core technology that drives the system.

Feature Description
On-Demand Access via the web anytime anywhere
Mobile Access Access via tablets and smart phones
Point & click Configuration Allows admins to easily configure the system
Real-Time Data Data is update and accessible in real time
Customization Offers APIs and Customer Objects that allow the system to be customize
App Integration Provides ways to integrate with other systems and applications
Login Management (Customer/Internal) Restrict who has a login to the system
Online Data Storage and Backup Securely store and backup your data online

Sales features help with both sales management and sales force automation (SFA).

Feature Description
Account/Contact management Track all account and contact information
Opportunity management Track potential sales
Sales history Track first contact to closing
Territory management Track sales reps and their territories

Marketing features automate and track activities associated with strategic marketing, operational, campaign-related, catalogue-based ecommerce, and trade promotions management.

Ad management/placement
Partner relationship management (PRM)
Brand management
Campaign planning
Campaign execution and management
Collateral management/distribution
Direct/database marketing
Electronic catalog/ecommerce solutions
Email marketing
Social Marketing
Sentiment analysis
Customer segmentation
predictive analytics
Event/trade show management
Focus groups/media testing
Lead generation/qualification/distribution
List management
Marketing resource management
Media and analyst relations
Mobile device marketing
Primary research
Trade promotion management
Upsell and cross-sell programs
Web activity analysis
Web advertising

Customer Service
Customer service features provide customer/client information management (CIM), and includes problem tracking, customer history, and incoming contact management.

Automated assistants
Case assignment and management: Track customer questions and problems via case records.
Email response management
Field service
Live collaboration and chat
Web chat
Social network response
Knowledge Base